No joy for Makonese at Bosso

BULAWAYO - Former Zimbabwe international and Orlando Pirates defender Zvenyika Makonese will not be offered a contract by Bulawayo giants Highlanders.

Makonese, who has been training with Highlanders in the last couple of weeks, was asked to stop training with the 2013 Premiership runners-up after the morning training session at White City Stadium.

Highlanders first team coach Mark Mathe said: “We have spoken to Makonese and let him know that he must look for another team.

“It’s not a case of him having failed to meet the grade but it is an issue of the team having a full complement of defenders already and we have advised him to look for a team and who knows, maybe we can re-engage him in mid-season if the need arises.”

Meanwhile, Highlanders are expected to give players that are yet to get some game time a run out when they play Premiership returnees Chapungu in the semi-finals of the Cephas George Msipa Scholarship Trust Charity tournament at Ascot Stadium on Saturday.

Indications from Bosso’s training session yesterday morning were that the likes of Ozias Zibande, Cleopas Dube, Douglas Sibanda, Mgcini Sibanda and Knox Mtizwa will be afforded a chance to stake a claim in the star studded Highlanders squad of 2014.

“Our plan is to take about 25 players to the tournament as we would love to give everyone a run since we are still in the off –season/pre-season period,” Mathe said.

Highlanders have played and won both the two games they have played so far this year with their first match being a 2 – 1 win over Harare City in the Bob90 Super Cup play – off and their second a 1 – 0 victory over FC Platinum in a friendly encounter.

Bosso has in the last couple of years struggled to win matches in pre-season but this year the scenario is quite different and Mathe attributed this to the arrival of many quality players at the beginning of the year.

“I think the players who are new to the set-up want to prove their worth and so they are giving their all as competition for jerseys is very stiff,” Mathe said.

“This also aids the team when we play these friendlies and win because while we will be working on aspects like shaping the team when attacking and defending, we should be seen to be winning games as this will instil a winning mentality in the team.”

Highlanders brought in Joel Ngodzo, Welcome Ndiweni and Charles Sibanda from FC Platinum, Valentine Ndaba came in from Shabanie Mine while Khumbulani Banda joined from How Mine and the trio of Kuda Mahachi, Felix Chindungwe and Njabulo Nyoni who were with city rivals Chicken Inn.

The winner between Highlanders and Chapungu will meet the team that will emerge victorious from the all Zvishavane clash between FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine set for Mandava Stadium also on Saturday.

Mandava Stadium will be the venue for the final on Sunday with the winners set to pocket $5 000 and the losing finalists $3 000.

The losing semi – finalists will walk away with $2 000.

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